“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit;for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Where are our idols today? Money, fame, the next iPhone to read this reflection on? I think it’s deeper. It is where we spend our time. Are we steadfast to our vocation? We all have moments where the joyfulness of our well-discerned ‘yes’ fades a bit with the grief of ‘what could have been.’ So, we chase the ‘idols’ of all the other things we could be doing.
This is one of the great joys of our participation in the Body of Christ. It is a choice. And choices always mean saying ‘no’ to some and ‘yes’ to others.
What in your life needs to be discerned towards a fuller “yes” in the participation of the Body of Christ? What idols, visible or invisible, are you chasing? My participation in the body of Christ is to live out this life. As very ordinarily blessed as it might seem today.
—Emily Schumacher-Novak lives in Milwaukee, WI, and works in Jesuit Higher Education and Ignatian Spirituality.
Lord, teach me to be generous: to serve you as you deserve,
To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of know that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola